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A Glance At Traditional Ancient China

When you come to Beijing, the hutong is a view you can't afford to miss. Different from asphalt roads which look the same, every hutong is distinct from each other in this city combined tradition with modern. Some hutongs have been added a few European style designs by developers becoming more commercial while others have retained pure style and folk customs. Today let's go to visit those traditional hutongs.

Starting from Lishi hutong where Beijing 161 hotel is, we can arrive at Shijia hutong(史家胡同) no more than 5 minutes by bike. There is a museum recording the changes of time from the Ming Dynasty to now.

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In the museum we saw the miniatures of old courtyards, micro restored ancient hutong and had a look at Beijing city one hundred years ago.

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Very delicate doors and windows

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The parts of yard, no matter the mottled steps or the bricks beneath the gate, were made absolutely fine. The eaves tiles were also carved carefully, and the door was only a hand size.

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Complete panorama of ancient courtyard.

When we came to the museum, it happened to hold kinds of community activities that day, like painting folding fans, writing Chinese characters, cutting window decorations and so on.

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Teacher's attitude was very friendly, we were lucky to experience the production of miniature.

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The material offered by teachers including glue stick, dry magnolia and cicadas' legs and heads.

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Roasted the glue stick in the fire until it melt.

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Then stuck the cicada's leg and head to the dry magnolia.

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A "primitive" was created! Lastly we could use colorful little stones, fake trees and other ornaments to decorate the micro-landscape.

Some old objects were also exhibited in the museum, such as comic books, antique cameras and furnitures.

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Light green cabinets and enamel washbasin brought me back to twenty years ago.

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One beautiful children umbrella and a rattle-drum.

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A stack of Chinese comic books.

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What is particular worthy to mention is the "voice storage room", which recorded the four seasons’ voices of Beijing, loud cries of hawkers, traditional instruments. Clear voices provided fully immersive experience for me. I particularly love the goldfish hawker's cry. The tones of cries were rising and falling and sounded like both singing and reading.

A cutural society is next to the museum.

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There are a variety of delicate things.

Time-honored red gates are seen anywhere in the alley, and every gate covers a long past.

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There is a store called "细活里" which means "doing things attentively". We listened Guqin(an instrument in some ways similar to zither) music and enjoyed a fragrant cup of  tea.

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Going out from the other side of Shijia hutong, riding bicycle 5 minutes at last, we arrived at Lumicang hutong(禄米仓胡同). Frolic children, abustel vendor, Lumicang alley is filled with the most ordinary Beijingers' lives, which creates the most unusual scenery.

I saw a little boy holding one blueberry ice cream looked very delicious in his hand and couldn't help but bought one from the nearby grocery store. Even in a cool day, it's still worth to give it try. The ice cream is really creamy and tasty.

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We walked along the Lumicang hutong and saw a temple called Zhihua temple(智化寺) at the side of alley soon.

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The temple is a music temple which was constructed in 1444. Its music has been handed down according to very strict standards. Those musician monks are good at Chinese wind pipe(sheng), bamboo flute, tube, gongs,drums and other Chinese traditional instrument. Almost every day at 10 o'clock am. and 3 o'clock pm. the temple will perform music.

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As the spring is coming, all the trees in Zhihua Temple are beginning to put out green buds.

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Next to the alley is the modern buildings, which forms a unique and strange collision.

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Take the subway in the vicinity, only a short ride away we arrived at Shichahai subway station. Do not hurry to go to Shichhai(什刹海), the alleys and community near the station are attractive and fascinating too.

Solemn mansions.

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The elderly sat at roadsides leisurely, basking in the sun and enjoying her own life.

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The store sells simple and elegant cheongsam at affordable prices.

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Abundant fresh fruits.

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After the visit of community, we hanged out to Shichahai.

The white magnolias are in blossom.

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Some hawkers sold small kites that are slim and very light at roadside. I bought a swallow kite as big as my palm. How can I miss the kite in such a gentle spring breeze?

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A fancy little tail followed me.

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The music lasts the whole day at Shichahai. Besides the singers in bars, there are many music lovers gathered in Shichahai at weekends to practice or perform. It was a Sunday when I went to Shichahai, and I encountered a group of African drums players who attracted lots of onlookers crowding and cheering.

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Tender willow and rippling waves. The beauty of Shichahai spring is beyond description.

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Walking from Houhai to Yandaixiejie(烟袋斜街) where less casual than resident hutong. Yandaixiejie retained the ancient buildings' out looking, but in fact it is a commercial street. The alley chooses a more refined way to present hutong's charm.

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Colorful tiger shoes and clay ornaments.

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"Qing Dynasty Post Office" sells Chinese characteristic postcards.

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“Lord Rabbit”—— a traditional mascot of Beijing

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Sugar Painting

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Porcelains in the tea house.

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This jewelry store slogan called "collecting all world beautiful things". If you want to collect or experience lovely things all over the world too, hutong is a station you can't miss.

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